• Sheep in field in Cotswolds

    Visit Stonehenge like Obama + six other travel tips in the British Isles

    The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/united-kingdom/" target="_blank">British Isles</a> are a diverse land mixing centuries of history and culture with spirited metropolitan cities and quaint countryside towns. Whatever your interests may be, there’s much to explore across the pond. But with so many options available, it’s easy to find yourself stuck in an enormous crowd staring at the back of a tourist’s head rather than seeing the changing of the guards. Fortunately for you, there is a way to pick just the right footpath, to get the same private access to Stonehenge as former President Obama and to be at the right place at the right time. Just follow this easy cheat sheet. With it, you can take to the streets in London or meander through charming countryside and villages where time seems to stand still. Cue the wanderlust!<br><br><b>London</b><br><br>Surprise, surprise—<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">London</a> makes the list! Of course, visiting the British Isles without exploring this magnificent city steeped in history would be missing a great deal of the British Isles. With a local expert Blue Badge Guide, keep your focus on <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">Buckingham Palace</a>, Westminster Abbey, and the many impressive war monuments and museums. Your guide will help you weave the past into the fabric of the city while blending with the modern architecture in this metropolitan gem. The city’s tremendous diversity (did you know there are over one million British Indians in London?) lends it an inimitable character where delicious food abounds the streets and creativity exists on every street corner. So how to find the well-connected friend a.k.a. Blue Badge Guide? <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> has relationships with the best ones so that you can focus all your attention on enjoying your visit.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxko&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zV34" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Stonehenge</b><br> <br>Stonehenge&#39;s ring of prehistoric standing stones is iconic, a quintessential symbol of Britain and its rich history. This <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">UNESCO World Heritage site</a>, located in the Salisbury Plain, dates as far back as 5,000 years and carries a powerful ceremonial and ritual significance for people across the globe. Each massive stone weighs about 25 tons and reaches heights of 13 feet, making it a masterpiece of engineering. This wonder of the world, and the mystery and rich history that surrounds it, is a must-see as you explore the United Kingdom. The problem you’ll encounter is that about 1.5 million people visit <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">Stonehenge</a> every year, meaning that you will have a lot more than the standing stones standing around you. The cure is to visit when the site is closed to the public. No, we don’t mean to jump the fence and skirt the ample security. Instead, <a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> has special permission from English Heritage to bring its guests into Stonehenge when no one else is present. Meaning you’ll be just like the president, if only for a day.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxko&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zV39" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Blenheim Palace</b><br><br>Britain boasts yet another impressive <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">UNESCO World Heritage</a> site in one of England’s great country houses: <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">Blenheim Palace</a>. The impressive palace has been a filming location for many movies but has a storied history of its own. Located just outside of Oxford, the massive property is open to the public but is considered the private property of the 12th Duke of Marlborough. The palace is known for being the ancestral home of Winston Churchill, was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the First World War and has housed various dukes and duchesses throughout history. You can arrive by car and simply wander Blenheim on your own, listening for the old halls to share their stories of the palace. Or, join Classic Journeys to walk through the scenic countryside from the nearby village of Bladon—where Winston Churchill was buried—to Blenheim Palace. With this route, you also have the fun of strolling the sweeping lawns and formal gardens.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxko&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zV3E" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>The Cotswolds</b><br><br>The stunning <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">Cotswolds</a> region is not only known as the birthplace of Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, and George Elliot, but also wows for its sweeping sheep-filled meadows, grand family homes, and honey-colored villages that represent the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">England of fantasies</a>. Think cozy, flower-strewn cottages and vast swathes of picturesque rolling green countryside. So many of them, in fact, that your head will spin with color, fragrance and options. So how to make sense of it? Opt for a guided walk through Bath that includes afternoon tea served with shortbread and scones, and revel in the location that inspired some of the world&#39;s best literature. The magic of these places is how little they have changed over the centuries, and so how easy it is to imagine yourself in the literary works you treasure and the land that inspired them.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxko&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zV3J" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Cornwall</b><br> <br>The southwest corner of England is known for its inviting turquoise water, sandy beaches, chalky limestone cliffs and fine coastal trails with terrific views punctuated by lighthouses and villages tucked into tiny coves. Visit <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cornwall/" target="_blank">Tintagel Castle</a>, which is frequently cited as the birthplace of King Arthur himself. History and legends of the pirates and smugglers of Land&#39;s End exist around every corner. Cozy seaside villages, friendly and quirky locals and the occasional cream tea with scones, jam, and clotted cream will leave you feeling at home in this captivating part of the British Isles. Follow a Blue Badge Guide on walks along cliffs lined with coastal paths, explore seaside hamlets with picturesque harbors, and cross causeways to an island castle in this exquisite county of England. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cornwall/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxko&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zV3O" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Killarney, Ireland </b><br><br>The Irish town of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland/" target="_blank">Killarney</a> is nestled on the beautiful Lough Leane lakeshore in a valley ringed by mountains in southwest Ireland. The scenic valleys, fabled Killarney Lakes and Old Kenmare Road are not to be missed. But what is fact and what is fable? For that, you’ll want to pair up with an expert local as you stroll through the wild, heath-covered hillsides of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland/" target="_blank">Killarney National Park</a> and look out for its magnificent herds of native red deer and unique plant life. Enjoy beautiful castles and too many shades of green to count as you learn of Killarney&#39;s famous herds of mountain sheep that have been carefully bred for over 150 years. (Because you’re in the know, you’ll also be welcomed to a sheep farm to watch its prized dogs maneuver the sheep all around the countryside.) <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxko&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zV3d" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Ring of Kerry, Ireland</b><br><br>The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland/" target="_blank">Ring of Kerry</a> is a famed scenic loop in southwest Ireland&#39;s County Kerry. Rugged islands, dramatic beaches, and cinematic mountain passes will amaze you as you roam through the Irish countryside. But how to make Ireland more than just one big green postcard in your mind? The secret is in getting to know the local people. So find a guide who can introduce you to the chocolatier who will become your own personal Willy Wonka, the local who shares his secrets for how to cut turf (totally useless, but very fun) and the master distiller who is taking on the global brands one drop at a time. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxko&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zV3i" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>There you go. Seven travel hacks that will have you exploring the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/united-kingdom/" target="_blank">British Isles</a> like a former president, staying far from the maddening crowds, and getting the trip of a lifetime. For more details on how, take a look at tours offered by <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/united-kingdom/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a>.   

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  • Irish Food

    6 Authentic Irish Meals

    <p>Quick: if someone asked you to name an Irish food, what’s the first dish that comes to mind? If you’re like most Americans, you’re going to say “corned beef and cabbage”. And technically speaking, you’d be wrong. Among food historians, it’s widely agreed that while corned beef has its roots in Ireland, the Irish themselves rarely ate it... and still don’t. These days it’s one of the cheaper cuts of meat, yet Irish corned beef producers in the 18th and 19th centuries exported nearly all of it since most people back then couldn&#39;t afford it. So, if you’re <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland/" target="_blank">traveling to Ireland</a> for the first time, don’t bother asking for corned beef and cabbage, unless you want to get a good laugh from your Irish hosts. <br><br>With that said, there’s some terrific food to be found in Ireland. One does involve boiled meat and cabbage, and this is the one that I like to make on St. Patrick’s Day! It&#39;s both a tip of my hat to my Irish grandmother and a sign of respect for authentic Irish cooking.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/161679/irish-boxty/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cfx" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/161679/irish-boxty/" target="_blank">Boxty</a>:</b> It won’t surprise you to know that potatoes are a big part of traditional Irish cooking. Boxty is Ireland’s signature potato pancake; made with both mashed and shredded potatoes, boxty patties are typically fried in a skillet and served with butter.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-colcannon-irish-potatoes-and-cabbage-242195" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cg2" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-colcannon-irish-potatoes-and-cabbage-242195" target="_blank">Colcannon</a>: </b>Colcannon is one of two popular varieties of kicked-up mashed potatoes. Chopped green onions and either shredded cabbage or kale are stirred into the spuds, with plenty of milk and butter. In a good colcannon, the potatoes are smooth, with no chunks.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-salmon" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CgH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-salmon" target="_blank">Smoked salmon</a>: </b>Salmon is hugely popular in the island nation. Irish smoked salmon is cured and then smoked at a low temperature; it has the texture of lox, but with a slightly smokier flavor. <a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-salmon" target="_blank">Click here</a> for 10 great Irish salmon recipes.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-stews-and-soups" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012ChA" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-stews-and-soups" target="_blank">Irish</a></b><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-stews-and-soups" target="_blank"> </a><b><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-stews-and-soups" target="_blank">Stew</a>: </b>“Irish stew” is a generic term covering all sorts of one-pot meals. There are a few rules of thumb: it has to have some sort of meat (usually lamb, sometimes beef, and occasionally mutton), it has to have potatoes and onions, you can add some Guinness if you like (I do), and the presence of carrots is the cause of many a heated discussion.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/dublin-coddle-51224810" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012ChP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/dublin-coddle-51224810" target="_blank">Dublin Coddle</a>: </b>It’s a bold statement, calling a dish “the ultimate Irish comfort food”, but Dublin coddle might just claim that title. Sausage, bacon, onions, and potatoes go into a pot with beef, chicken or ham broth; the pot is then covered and goes into the oven for a few hours.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/irish-bacon-and-cabbage-107859" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cht" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/irish-bacon-and-cabbage-107859" target="_blank">“Bacon” and Cabbage</a>: </b>The classic Irish Boiled Dinner probably has its origins with this meal. Bacon and cabbage is traditionally a large cut of lean slab bacon, boiled on the stove top, with cabbage added during the last ten minutes. The version I make is easy, and delicious. Simply brine a pork shoulder or butt roast (I’ve also used a pork loin roast) in salt water overnight, put the pot on the stovetop and boil it for a few minutes, drain that water and replace with fresh water, and boil again for a few hours.  Add cabbage and carrots (yes, I stand by the carrots in this case), and you’ve got a great, authentic Irish meal. Here’s the complete <a href="https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/irish-bacon-and-cabbage" target="_blank">Irish “Bacon” and Cabbage recipe, via Bon Appétit</a>. Like just about everything in Ireland, it pairs well with a Guinness. Sláinte!<br><br><br><br><br><b>DRINKS ANYONE?</b><br><i>You already know that <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland-tours/" target="_blank">Ireland </a>is one of the most iconic places in the world to tip a pint with a local. There’s nothing quite like sipping a Guinness in a traditional Irish pub in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland-tours/" target="_blank">Killarney, Kenmare or Dingle</a>, surrounded by friendly residents and listening to a local band. But what about those places in the world you don’t expect to sit and sip the traditional spirits with natives? You never know what stories you’ll hear over a shared drink with local friends. So, pull up a seat, fill your glass, and enjoy… we’ve rounded up <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/best-cities-to-drink-with-locals" target="_blank">seven of our favorite cities</a> in the world to drink with a local.</i></p>

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  • Urquhart Castle Ruins, Scotland

    5 Best Overseas Adventures: Northern Europe

    With 195 countries on 7 continents spanning our globe, choosing your next overseas travel adventure can be overwhelming. To make things easier for you, we&#39;ve rounded up our top five overseas travel adventures... starting with Northern Europe. Whether you choose the diverse nature of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Iceland </a>or the fjords of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank">Norway</a>, you&#39;re guaranteed to have a trip of a lifetime with Classic Journeys. The only question is... where to next?<br><br><b>TOP 5 TRIPS IN NORTHERN EUROPE:</b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Iceland" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehnn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r17" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">ICELAND</a></b><br>It absolutely feels like the planet is trying to spill its secrets on this island. Geysers spout hot spasms into the sky. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Gem-blue glaciers</a> groan and bully their way down rocky valleys. Rivers of cooled lava ripple through the landscape. A waterfall shoots horizontally from a high-up cleft before falling in a rainbow cloud of mist to an empty plain. A mountain is as likely to be pink or purple as gray.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank"><img alt="Norway" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehnn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r1C" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank">NORWAY</a></b><br>You might be surprised by the variety of activities and amazing sights you&#39;ll experience in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank">Norway</a>. Imagine gliding through the serene blue waters of fjords on a private boat, walking on a glacier and exploring a Viking Ship Museum.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank"><img alt="Cotswolds" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehnn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r1H" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">COTSWOLDS, STONEHENGE &amp; LONDON</a></b><br>This isn’t just the superficially pretty <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">England</a>, it’s the real thing—a rich cultural experience with personal introductions and remarkable access to non-public places. You’ll simply never forget it.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehnn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r1M" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland-tours/" target="_blank">IRELAND</a></b><br>Whether you’re wishing for a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland/" target="_blank">walking tour</a> or returning to roots on a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/irelandfamily/" target="_blank">family vacation</a>, Classic Journeys has what you’re looking for on our tours of Ireland. Ireland travel with us means you’ll enjoy a perfect mix of the beauty, walkability and cordial blarney that make it a perennial favorite destination... plus visits to the best local pubs! <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehnn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r1R" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">SCOTLAND</a></b><br>We love the wide-screen scale of the<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"> Scottish Highlands</a>. Great heather-covered moors roll into a broad, blue horizon. Ruined castles stand watch over silvery lochs. There’s a wonderful wildness to it all. But for all of that sweep and solitude, it’s the close-ups of local life that we remember best.<br> 

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